Monica Arul honored with Notre Dame’s Shaheen Graduate Student Award

Monica Arul

Monica Arul, a Ph.D. student in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, has been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Graduate Student Award.

The Shaheen Award recognizes one graduating Ph.D. student in each of the four divisions of the Notre Dame Graduate School. Students are honored for excellence in research, teaching, and mentoring.

Arul’s research focuses on the use of machine-learning techniques to analyze data about the behavior of tall buildings, long-span bridges, and other structures in wind.

Her papers have appeared in the Journal of Structural Engineering, Engineering Structures, Journal of Smart Structures and Systems, and the Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics.

In 2020, she was awarded first place in the 1st International Project Competition for Structural Health Monitoring. In 2021, she was the first author on the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Best Paper: “Identification of Vortex-Induced Vibration of Tall Building Pinnacle Using Cluster Analysis for Fatigue Evaluation: Application to Burj Khalifa.”

“I am very excited about Monica’s well-deserved and repeated successes,” said Arul’s advisor Ahsan Kareem, the Robert Moran Professor of Engineering.

“The ingenuity of Monica’s approach to research is in her use of emerging tools in machine learning. Her teaching is compassionate, and she has demonstrated a commitment to service that makes her stand out.”

In 2018, Arul received the Notre Dame Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award. In 2019, she won first place in the Notre Dame Graduate School Shaheen Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®), in which participants have three minutes to explain their research and its impact to a non-technical audience.

Arul went on to win second place at the 2019 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools 3MT Competition and won the first place and people’s choice award at the Atlantic Coast Conference 3MT Competition.

In fall 2022, Arul will be joining the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech as an assistant professor. 

— Karla Cruise, College of Engineering